The team at Rapid Solutions has been on the road sharing insights into how to avoid litigation when it comes to termite inspection reports.
Since AEPMA’s Pesticon in June this year, the Rapid Solutions team has been out and about talking to clients and industry groups about the importance of accurate reporting on termite inspections so they’re protected in the event of a complaint or claim against them. For those who haven’t been able to attend an industry update or conference in a while, here’s a snippet of what’s being shared:
- Your report tells the story of a property’s condition in relation to termites. If your findings are inconsistent – say there’s lots of conducive conditions, evidence of previous termite treatment and some damage evident and you rate the property as medium risk with the next inspection in 12 months – and the customer brings a claim, it can be difficult to defend how you met your duty of care under Australian Consumer Law.
- Standard warnings, recommendations, terms and conditions can’t be relied upon to avoid a claim.
- Take care to make recommendations that are clear and specific, and state a timeframe that is consistent with your overall summary of the property. This will improve your customer’s understanding of the risk posed by termites at their property.
- The more succinctly you warn your customer of the risks and provide clear actions for them to take, the more likely you are to reduce complaints and claims against you (or successfully defend them).
- If you see termite mudding or damage, no matter how small, the Australian Standard requires that you report on it. Rapid Solutions is seeing a concerning increase in clients seeing evidence of termite activity but not putting it in their report. This is vital for communicating the risk of termites on a property, no matter how insignificant the evidence may appear.
If you receive a complaint from a customer relating to work you have done, let your insurer know as soon as possible. It may not amount to anything, but you can rest assured that if it does, you’ve met your policy obligations by reporting it in a timely manner.